A night at the Komedia’s Krater Comedy club is as quintessentially Brighton as having your chips stolen by a seagull, or seeing a juggling hipster on a unicycle.
The enduringly popular comedy night has a justified reputation for decent comic line-ups and a good night out.
Now a new head chef is hoping regular Krater-heads, and Komedia gig-goers will add food to that experience.
Matt Powers, who could previously be found running the roast dinners at Brighton Rocks in Kemptown, has introduced a new menu at the much-loved venue and promises an accessible selection, with an increased vegan presence, and inspired by his passion for fresh, local ingredients.
Our return to the Krater Comedy Club came after a few years away but it was a great to see the place is still heaving, and that the punters are still prepared to arrive ages in advance to avoid the horror of a front-row table.
Ensconced far enough away from the stage, marshalled by the hugely likeable Brummie MC Andy Robinson, we had our first taste of chef Matt’s new menu.
The opening culinary acts were taken from the new snack menu, a fairly straight-forward, but enjoyable enough, salt and pepper squid with chilli and lime mayo, and a surprisingly interesting serving of buffalo cauliflower.
The spicy batter was light but lively and the florets were covered with sweet chilli sauce to good effect.
Next up were mains of Barbecue Pulled Jackfruit in a bun, and Andy’s Jerk Chicken.
The jackfruit is very much the vegan flavour of the month (especially as last month was helpfully rechristened Veganuary), but this mighty fruit (they can grow as big as 100lb) was a little lacking in flavour and might benefit from a slightly punchier sauce,
By way of contrast, Andy’s Jerk Chicken, served with sweet potato fries, was an infinitely more satisfying main course, with a nice buzz of chilli but not prohibitively hot. Andy’s identity was not disclosed but he certainly knows his way round a Caribbean spiced chicken thigh.
Last up, and appropriately, good enough to be described as a headliner, was a thoroughly delish dark chocolate and coconut torte with vegan ice cream.
A real rich heavy-hitter of a pudding. Darker than the Komedia’s low-lit Stygian studio, and almost as rich as the person who came up with the idea of putting jackfruit on a vegan’s dinner plate.
Overall, a sound first menu with some nice touches and Chef Matt hopes to tweak things on a seasonal basis.
A couple of the dishes could have been a little hotter (in temperature if not taste) but it was only their second week and their busiest night to date, so hopefully it was case of teething problems.
There was definitely more to enjoy than to, metaphorically, heckle.
Food is served at a number of seated shows in the main space of the Komedia, check individual show listings for confirmation, or call 01273 647100.
Tickets including food are also a money-saving option. Choose a Meal Deal ticket (show and main course) and save up to £3, a Meal Deal+ ticket (show, main course, side or dessert) and save up to £6 or a Side Saver ticket (three side dishes) and save up to £6.50 per person. See individual show listings for availability.